Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pork cutlets with tomato sauce

I have a problem with pork.  Unless I Crock-Pot it, it often turns out semi-dry and flavorless.  Recently, I saw Rachael Ray cook pork an entirely new way (to me anyway) and I decided to try it.  The tomato sauce here is also inspired by my good friend "Ray Rachael" as my daughter calls her.  She makes lots of sauces with fresh grape tomatoes and I'm hooked on them!  They are tangy and sweet at the same time, and make a nice fresh change from canned tomatoes.  Little tip though, when smashing the tomatoes, be very, very, very careful!  Trust me, being "spit" at by molten tomato is no fun.  So inspired by RR, here is my winner, winner, pork dinner:

1 small pork tenderloin (appx. 1lb)
1/2 C flour (I use whole wheat)
1/4 C grated parm.
Dash of pepper and some herbs de provence
2-3T olive oil

Trim pork of any fat or connective tissue.  Slice into 1" thick slices.  Cover with parchment paper and gently pound until about twice the width and half the thickness.  Dredge cutlets in flour/cheese mixture and shake off excess.  This will give them a nice coating without all of the mess of egg washes, dipping and repeating of an actual batter coating.  Heat a large skillet on medium-high and cook cutlets in batches (don't crowd the pan) just a couple of minutes on each side, until browned.  These little guys are so thin they shouldn't take long to cook.  When cooked, transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.  When all pork is cooked, you can make the sauce in the same pan:

1-2 T extra olive oil plus a bit of butter
6-8 green onions, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, rinsed and dried
2T flour (I used the flour/cheese mixture from dredging the pork)
3/4 C chicken stock (I didn't really measure this, just guessed.  You may need more but it's better to start with less.)

Turn heat to medium-low and add extra oil and butter.  Toss in veggies (I wait a few minutes on the garlic as it burns easily).  Toss veggies around a few minutes, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low).  This allows the tomatoes to steam and burst.  Uncover and GENTLY smash tomatoes with a potato masher or the edge of a wooden spoon.  Sprinkle veggies with flour and stir around for a few minutes.  Add chicken stock, return heat to medium-high and gently bubble for several minutes or until sauce is the consistency you want.  Add more stock if it gets too thick.  Season with pepper, if you like it extra spicy you can add red pepper flakes or a fresh chili with the veggies in the beginning. 

I served this with simple steamed broccoli (fresh from the farmers' market) and brown rice.  Props to Hubby for the awesome plate presentation!

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